The FDA is asking for public cooperation in tracking down the cause of dog and cat illnesses relating to jerky treats. The symptoms are decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus), increased water drinking, and increased urination within hours of eating the treats. Sixty percent of the cases involved gastrointestinal illness, 30 percent kidney and urinary systems, the other 10 percent a variety of symptoms such as collapse, convulsions or skin issues.
From the FDA:
The agency has repeatedly issued alerts to consumers about reports it has received concerning jerky pet treat-related illnesses involving 3,600 dogs and 10 cats in the U.S. since 2007. Approximately 580 of those pets have died.
To date, FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) has conducted more than 1,200 tests, visited jerky pet treat manufacturers in China and collaborated with colleagues in academia, industry, state labs and foreign governments. Yet the exact cause of the illnesses remains elusive.
To gather even more information, FDA is reaching out to licensed veterinarians and pet owners across the country.
I can see where the FDA is getting out the word to report recently developed symptoms or symptoms developed in the very near future. This is not the way to deal with the problem long term. The illnesses have been associated with jerky treats since 2007 for cryin’ out loud.
Meanwhile, the agency urges pet owners to be cautious about providing jerky treats. If you do provide them and your pet becomes sick, stop the treats immediately, consider seeing your veterinarian, and save any remaining treats and the packaging for possible testing.
Inspections of the facilities in China that manufacture jerky products associated with some of the highest numbers of pet illness reports did not identify the cause of illness. However, they did identify additional paths of investigation, such as the supply chain of some ingredients in the treats. Although FDA inspectors have found no evidence identifying the cause of the spate of illnesses, they did find that one firm used falsified receiving documents for glycerin [*], a jerky ingredient. Chinese authorities informed FDA that they had seized products at the firm and suspended its exports.
I’m not a scientist but THE CAUSE OF THE ILLNESS IS SOMETHING IN JERKY TREATS! It comes from notorious pet-killing China! That’s enough information to take the product off the market now! It happens over and over again. Why continue allowing the product on the market until the definitive underlying cause of the illnesses is determined? In fact, stop importing anything from China edible for pets. They have shown repeatedly they don’t care about the health of American pets. The FDA shouldn’t use our pets as scientific experiments.
* In 2007 state-owned Chinese suppliers substituted diethylene glycol—an industrial solvent and prime ingredient in some antifreeze–for glycerin which is commonly used in drugs, food, toothpaste and other products. The toxic substitute was used in manufacturing cough syrup resulting in illness and death. (From China to Panama, a Trail of Poisoned Medicine)